206. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic1

3134. Embtel 2985.2 When you see Nasser you authorized reply orally along following lines to his question re basic US intent. This information should be appropriately combined with that conveyed Deptel 3117.3

US is not interfering in internal affairs UAR nor is US seeking remove Nasser or his regime. US attitude in this regard was convincingly demonstrated during 1956 attack on Suez, when US gave strong support to Nasser Government at time when Nasser’s position was extremely vulnerable and despite severe damage done by US action to US relations with two traditional allies. From this Nasser may draw conclusions re our attitude toward him should difficulty develop in his relations with Soviet Union. We would not seize upon any such trouble as opportunity seek to “get rid of him”. He should not however draw conclusion that he can safely involve himself more and more with USSR because US will bail him out if he gets into trouble with Soviets. We have consistently warned him of dangers closer association with USSR.

Above in no way alters our views, conveyed to Nasser and his Government on number of occasions, concerning the essentials of a fruitful relationship between US and UAR. As Nasser knows, UAR attitude toward international Communism is important factor. Another is UAR attitude toward security and national integrity other states in area, particularly those maintaining close relations with US. Continuous UAR attack on friends of US and efforts undermine authority their legally-constituted Governments cannot help but be serious obstacle to improvement of relations between US and UAR. We observe Nasser said he convinced of Hashemite hostility toward UAR, but we venture suggest Hashemites and certainly Government of Lebanon may feel UAR has given them good grounds be convinced of UAR hostility toward them. We wonder whether UAR, instead of carrying out policies toward other Arab states based on conviction of hostility of latter, might instead re-examine its policies toward these states with a view to ceasing actions which contribute to worsening [Page 451]rather than bettering of relations with Arab world. In such event would not appear unreasonable expect improvement in attitude other Arabs toward UAR.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783A.00/5–1658. Top Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Rockwell, cleared by Rountree, and approved and signed by Dulles. Repeated to London and Damascus.
  2. Telegram 2985, May 16, reported that Hare had delivered a message on Lebanon to Hussein Aziz, Permanent Under Secretary in the Foreign Office, who gave assurances that he would arrange a meeting for the Ambassador with Nasser.
  3. Telegram 3117, May 15, is printed in vol. XI, p. 54.